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Home Rise of Desert Modern
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"There reaches a point, when not enough of something has been preserved, or in the absence of proximity, as new growth moves in with new or older forms, you begin to lose identity and the character that makes a place unique or remarkable."
-Eric Wills, Preservation Magazine



Natural beauty, a compelling history and an influx of wealth all contributed to the revival of interest in mid-century architecture in Palm Springs in the 1990’s. The rebirth of Palm Springs serves as a classic expression of nostalgia, reformulating memories to give new life to not so old structures. Celebrities and wealthy patrons came to call on the region again. As befitting the origins of the place, a new generation began work on creating a dreamscape. They were fueled by a desire to to return to the beginnings of the Modern era, without the bombs and cold war, but full of parties and abundant California sunshine. Palm Springs was preserved and sometimes reformed in the image of the original, a desert place to play. It was in this environment that individual efforts at preservation and good old-fashioned organizing secured a fighting chance for the preservation of the region's unique architectural character. As the area began to experience economic recovery in the 1990’s, individuals and organizations stepped forward to advocate for the preservation of the Modernist heritage of the region by taking on renovation projects, forming groups aimed at preserving and cataloging the resources, and lobbying in the political arena for protection. The work of preservation groups to bring attention to the imperiled nature of the more recent history of the region allowed a new generation to discover their worth and tout the values of Modern architecture to a growing audience.

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Spanish Envy and Hard Times